Alan Nakagawa

Alan NakagawaArtist’s Statement

I have had tinnitus or ringing in the ear since I was about five or six. It varies in intensity, pitch and volume at any given moment. Sometimes I am not aware of it at all and sometimes it is very present in my ears. At any given time, there are several pitches happening at once and as a child I used to focus and change the clarity of these pitches, while at home or on the playground, for instance.

Later, I was introduced to painting and music. I think my tinnitus, which is very common, influenced my approach to art making; how I put things together, compose the relationship between things. As a young adult, I found myself attracted to collaborations and spent 28 years experimenting with various multi-media formats through inter-disciplinary collaboration. I was fortunate enough to work with fantastic artists through the umbrella of Collage Ensemble Inc., which ended April 2012.

I am now focusing on my solo art career. I’ve found my way back to the ringing in my ear. I’ve discovered the work of Royal Rife, a scientist who utilized frequencies to destroy pathogens. I am researching his work and letting it lead me to interpretations via visual, sound and art experiences.



Select Solo Exhibitions from 2008-2011

Sound Forest, percussion installation, CicLAvia Los Angeles

Cool, 2-hour sound loop for the Coolhaus Ice Cream Truck, Soundwalk, Long Beach, Calif.

Sound Bed, mobile sound sculpture, Soundwalk, Long Beach, Calif.

Pota Pota, Otonomiyaki, (Alan Nakagawa and Kio Griffith), sound installation,
Glendale Arizona Jazz and Blues Festival

Select group exhibitions from 2008-2011

Sasaki, Electronics and popcorn, OMOI FOR JAPAN, Los Angeles
Finale, paintings, group exhibition, Nakagawa, Steve Roden, Mona Kasra, Jeffrey James Mohr, Inglewood Main Library, Inglewood, Calif.

Red Flat, Nakagawa, S. Irvin, Omayumi, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles

Foundsound, Nakagawa sound collaborations, with Otonomiyaki, Steve Roden, Steven M. Irvin, Mona Kasra (Collage Ensemble Inc.), Mike the Poet & Mary Tyler Smores; solo performance by Joseph Hammer, 3-day public opening of BCAM at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

Fellowships and Awards from 2008-2011

Small Organization Grant for website documenting 28 years of Collage Ensemble Inc., Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles
Production Grant for Ear Meal Webcast, DEW Foundation

Production Grant, Collage Ensemble Inc., DEW Foundation

Glendale (Ariz.) Art Commission, Otonomiyaki, temporary public art project, Jazz and Blues Festival


Oral History Program Workshops, University of California Los Angeles

Theater Design, Japan University, Monbusho Scholarship, Tokyo, Japan

M.F.A., 1988
Studio Arts, University of California Irvine

B.F.A., 1986
Studio Arts, Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles